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Minimalist Winter Outfits + How to Make The Most of Your Closet

I must admit … there’s a part of me that feels silly writing about minimalist winter outfits because it’s hot and sunny here in Australia! But for those of you who don’t know, I grew up in the States and this time of year always makes me feel nostalgic for cold weather and winter outfits.

So to help me scratch that itch, I asked a friend currently living in Italy to help me put together some winter outfit inspiration! But given that this is a minimalist lifestyle blog—there’s a twist.

I know that whenever there’s a change of season, it’s tempting to do a full wardrobe overhaul—but before you do, I encourage to read this post for ideas on how to create new outfits from what you already have in your closet. You might be surprised to find you already have more than enough to get you through the winter months!

Title "Minimalist Winter Outfits" with subtitle "how to make the most of your existing closet" in a white box. In the background is a woman in black skinny jeans, a grey shirt and denim jacket.

The following was written in collaboration with my very stylish friend JoEllen. JoEllen is a minimalist currently living in Italy with her husband and four children. Be sure to follow her on Instagram or keep reading to learn more about JoEllen and her adventures.

Minimalist Winter Outfits

With the changing of the season comes new outfit inspiration! But it can kind of get overwhelming knowing where to begin! There are so many trends, so many ideas, so many options out there.

Here are some tips on putting together minimalist winter outfits so you can look stylish and stay warm this winter.

A winter capsule wardrobe hanging in a white closet.
JoEllen’s minimalist winter closet is full of simple pieces that are easy to mix and match!

The Foundation of Any Minimalist Wardrobe—Staple Pieces

When putting together a minimalist winter look, you want to have staple pieces that can be easily mixed and matched. These pieces will get you great bang for your buck and can be worn in so many ways to give you so many different looks.

Invest in pieces that will last a long time, that will keep you warm, that are versatile, and that are flattering. Here are some great staple pieces for any minimalist wardrobe:

  • Jeans
  • Black pants
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Button-down shirt
  • Sweater
  • Jean jacket
  • Blazer
  • Leather jacket
  • Leather booties
  • Sneakers
  • Rainboots
Minimalist winter outfit staples: jeans, a long sleeve shirt, a grey sweater and a leather jacket.
Minimalist winter outfit staples: black jeans, a grey long sleeve shirt, a white button down and a denim jacket.

Pro Tip: Before you rush out to buy something new, take stock of what staple items you already own. I’ve often found that just identifying an item as a wardrobe staple helps me to see it with new eyes and to create new outfit ideas.

Also remember you don’t need everything on this list! You’d be surprised what you can do with just a few quality basics.

The Secret to Creating New Outfits From Your Existing Closet—Layers!

The key to staying warm and stylish is layering! When you have a closet full of great staple pieces, you can use those pieces in so many ways to layer.

Minimalist winter outfit inspiration: a leather jacket layered over a long sleeve shirt with skinny jeans and black boots. Add a colourful scarf to bring the look together!
Layers keep you warm and help you get more mileage out of your existing wardrobe.

Take a long sleeve shirt, layer a button-down like a chambray shirt or a
sweater over it, and top it off with any of your jackets.

Use that formula to get different looks (long sleeve shirt + button-down shirt or sweater + jacket = simple winter outfit).

Minimalist winter outfit inspiration: a white shirt layered over a long sleeve shirt with black skinny jeans and slip on shoes. Top with a denim jacket to add warmth and interest!
JoEllen could easily swap jackets or layer a sweater over the white shirt and have an entirely new look!

How to Accessorize Your Minimalist Winter Outfits

The best way to add some pizazz to your look is to accessorize! Use your accessories to make your look interesting.

Scarves, hats, shoes, watches, rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings are easy items to add to your look. Wearing accessories will limit how many clothing pieces you put in your closet, helping you maintain that minimalist wardrobe you want.

Minimalist winter outfit inspiration: a chambray shirt layered over a long sleeve shirt with skinny jeans and rain boots. Add a plaid scarf to bring the look together!
I love how JoEllen uses a scarf to pull this look together! And I’m sure you could imagine how a different scarf would create an entirely new look.

Use these simple tips when putting together your minimalist winter outfits! Don’t make it complicated, keep it simple!

JoEllen is a wife, mom to 4, aesthetician, model, minimalist, and world traveler! After selling ¾ of their belongings and moving their family to New Zealand for 2 years, they then decided to sell all of their stuff and travel the world!

Selling all of their stuff has made JoEllen realize what really matters. It’s made her channel her focus on creating memories and not collecting stuff. She loves proving that minimalism isn’t boring! She teaches women how to simplify their lives by decluttering their closets and build smart wardrobes with adaptable apparel.

Create Your Own Minimalist Winter Wardrobe

I’m so grateful to my friend JoEllen for sharing her minimalist winter outfit tips! I just want to add that I think the key to any minimalist wardrobe is knowing personal your style—what do YOU love wearing? (If you’re not sure, then some of the tips in my simple guide to a simple wardrobe might help.)

Then with your style in mind, create your own “outfit formula”! I love the one JoEllen mentioned above but my personal favourite is an oversized sweater + skinny jeans + ankle boots—and I’m not afraid to wear this on repeat! (You can see some example here, here and here!)

Create your own minimalist winter wardrobe by choosing a few basic formulas, adding layers and playing with accessories!

Learn More About Creating a Minimalist Wardrobe

If you enjoyed this post, here are a few more about creating a minimalist wardrobe that you might like:

What’s your favourite minimalist winter outfit “formula”? And what are your tips for making new outfits from your existing closet? Let us know in the comments! x

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